Research by the U.N.-affiliated Sustainable Development Solutions Network ranks Israel as the fourth-happiest nation in the world.
Based on data from the Gallup World Poll, the study uses six important variables—social support, money, health, freedom, generosity, and the absence of corruption—to help explain differences in self-reported happiness levels worldwide.
The report was released on Monday in honor of the International Day of Happiness, which the United Nations declared. In June 2012, the General Assembly passed Resolution 66/281.
Finland was ranked the world’s happiest nation for the sixth year, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Israel, and the Netherlands.
According to this year’s Happiness Report, most populations worldwide are still extremely robust despite several converging crises, with average worldwide life satisfaction levels in the COVID-19 years 2020–2022 remaining pre-pandemic.
The study’s co-author, Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, said, “The happiness movement shows that well-being is not a soft and ‘vague’ idea but instead focuses on areas of the life of critical importance: material conditions, mental and physical wealth, personal virtues, and good citizenship.
For our society to be more peaceful, prosperous, trustworthy, civil, and yes, happier, he said, we must translate this wisdom into action.
The two least happy countries in the poll were Afghanistan and Lebanon, whose average life ratings were more than five points lower (on a scale of 0 to 10) than the ten happiest nations.
Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and New Zealand completed the top 10 nations on the list.
American, British, and French rankings were 15, 19, and 21, respectively.
In the previous year’s report, Israel came in tenth.